After a weeklong investigation into the fatal shooting of a man and his sister and the wounding of the woman’s longtime boyfriend, Milledgeville police are still no closer to solving the case, The Union-Recorder has learned.
Detectives with the Milledgeville Police Department’s Detective Bureau are still tracking down leads in the case, but as of Thursday afternoon, they had none, according to Chief Dray Swicord.
“We have zero leads,” Swicord said. “We really need the public’s help.”
Since the shootings, police have urged anyone with information about the case to come forward and talk with them.
“We’ve gotten nothing,” Swicord said.
The Independence Day weekend shootings left Tyric James Justice, 30, and his sister, Erica Lachell Reaves, 43, dead. Officers with the Milledgeville Police Department discovered both of them dead at the scene.
The bodies of both victims were taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory in Decatur for autopsies to determine the cause and manner of death.
A third person, meanwhile, was critically wounded. Police identified that man as Quincy Lamont Jackson, 38, who remained in critical condition on Friday. Jackson has undergone several surgeries since being taken from the scene of the shooting to The Medical Center at Atrium Health Navicent in Macon.
Two other survivors from the shooting included a teenage boy and his sister — both of whom were in their bedrooms and who were not harmed. Even though they heard the gunshots, neither of them reportedly came out of their bedrooms until after police arrived, according to a family member.
Even though no one has been arrested in connection with the shootings inside a duplex apartment on Laura Court in what is known as Duplex City, police have now ruled out the possibility of the crimes were the result of a home invasion.
Instead, the shootings are now believed to be gang-affiliated.
“It’s definitely gang-affiliated,” Swicord told the newspaper during an interview Thursday afternoon. “I know there’s a gang-affiliation involved.”
Asked why he thinks police haven’t received a lot of information from the public, Swicord said he believes residents are afraid.
Swicord said to get the public’s help, people’s consciousness must first be awakened.
“We can’t do this by ourselves,” Swicord said. “We’ve got to have the public’s input.”
Right now, police still aren't exactly clear about what took place.
They have discovered that the shootings were not the result of a home invasion, which was what police initially thought might have triggered the gunfire that erupted inside Reaves’ apartment.
“There was no forced entry,” Swicord said. “Obviously, the (front) door was opened, willingly. Theoretically, it tells us that whoever opened the door knew the person.”
Swicord said detectives believe there was only one assailant responsible for the shootings.
“I do not think there was more than one shooter,” Swicord said. “I think only one person was doing the shooting.”
It’s possible, though, that the shooter was accompanied by one or more individuals.
“But that’s just a guess,” the police chief said.
Police said nothing was taken from the residence.
“Right now, we really don’t know why this happened,” Swicord said. “We can’t call it a home invasion, and you can’t call it a robbery.”
Detectives have been unable to talk to Jackson, the third shooting victim, yet, the police chief said.
Swicord said he hopes that Jackson regains consciousness enough that he can provide detectives with information that could help them find the person responsible for the shooting.
The police chief said he met with detectives again on Thursday afternoon to get an understanding of what has been learned and what has yet to be established.
“We’re trying anything we can try now to get answers from the public,” Swicord said. “We’re going at all angles.”
Initially, the neighborhood where the shootings took place was canvassed by police officers and detectives a couple of times in an attempt to gain information from residents about what they might have seen or heard.
Since then, officers and detectives have gone back to the neighborhood hoping they can find somebody that knows something, but their attempts have proven fruitless.
“We’ve gone door-to-door trying to seek information, but we haven’t been able to get very much,” Swicord said.
He said that’s disheartening.
“I think that’s the disheartening thing of all law enforcement agencies today is that you just can’t get the public’s input for one reason or the other,” Swicord said. “It’s the times we live in now where nobody trusts anybody.”
Nevertheless, police detectives are still in need of the public’s help to assist them in finding the killer in this double-murder case.
Information can be passed on to detectives with the Milledgeville Police Detective Bureau by calling 478-414-4090. Anyone providing information is reminded that they can either use their name or they don’t have to give their name.